Latour’s Metamorphosis

By Alyssa Battistoni, current Member in the School of Social Science:

"When the multi-hyphenate scholar of science Bruno Latour died last October at the age of 75, tributes poured in from all corners of academia and many beyond. In the aughts, Latour had been a ubiquitous reference point for Anglophone social and cultural theory, standing alongside Judith Butler and Michel Foucault on the list of most cited academics in fields ranging from geography to art history. Made notorious by the ‘Science Wars’ of the 1990s, he reinvented himself as a climate scholar and public intellectual in the last two decades of his life. Yet amidst the expressions of appreciation and grief, many on the left shrugged. Latour’s relationship to the left had long been fraught, if not entirely unsatisfactory to either: Latour enjoyed antagonizing the left; in turn, many leftists loved to hate Latour. His ascendance in the politically bleak years of the early twenty-first century was to many damning. And yet as he sought to respond to the political challenge of climate change in his final years, he turned, in his own deeply idiosyncratic way, to consider questions of production and class; transformation and struggle."

Read more at New Left Review